Events of World War I are seen through the eyes of a group of teenagers from two Scottish families with very different social backgrounds. Charlotte and Maggie want to do something worthwhile, so they train to be nurses and are sent to France. Charlotte's older brother, struggles with his conscience about the senselessness of combat, while Maggie's brothers are seduced by the glory of war and can't wait to join up.
Despite their social differences, the horrors of trench warfare and the devastating realities of the war engulf them all. Breslin's beautiful prose gives the harrowing sights and sounds of war a human edge.